Last week, Forecast the Facts staff attended the AMS Conference on Broadcast Meteorology in Boston. Over three days, we spoke to dozens of weather reporters and handed them your messages about why you want them to report on climate change.
We arrived home from the conference to big news—the AMS has officially released their new information statement on climate change, and it’s good! Here’s an excerpt that just about says it all:
There is unequivocal evidence that Earth’s lower atmosphere, ocean, and land surface are warming; sea level is rising; and snow cover, mountain glaciers, and Arctic sea ice are shrinking. The dominant cause of the warming since the 1950s is human activities.
The AMS statement is a crucial step in ensuring that TV meteorologists give their viewers the facts about climate change. And the Forecasts the Facts community helped make it happen! For months, members have written to the AMS, pushed for revisions, and demanded a strong statement on climate. It’s not every day that something we call for comes to pass, and it’s important for us to thank the AMS for their strong statement and encourage them to take the next step and make sure their members get the message:
Click here to send your message to the AMS
Our time at the AMS conference was a powerful reminder of how heroic some TV meteorologists are, and how far others have to go.
Some, like Jim Gandy of Columbia, SC, Dan Satterfield of Salisbury, MD and Paul Douglas of St. Paul, MN have already risen to the task, communicating climate science to their viewers through great localized stories. But many weathercasters told us they are scared to discuss climate change for fear of backlash from viewers or bosses. And a few still deny the science outright.
But regardless of their perspective on climate change, the meteorologists we spoke with all agreed on one point: what viewers say matters. A lot. As one weathercaster put it, “Every email or letter we get gets read, and we assume 1,000 people feel the same way.”
Letting weather reporters know that the public wants to hear more about climate is vital. That’s why handing out your comments to weather reporters in Boston had a big impact, and it’s why in the coming months we’re going to be launching a slew of new tactics to help make sure that meteorologists hear the message directly from viewers like us.
Jordan, Brad, Daniel, and the rest of the Forecast the Facts team
P.S. We wrote several posts about our interactions with broadcast meteorologists at their conference in Boston. Check them out here:
Broadcast Meteorology Conference Day 1: Viewers to TV weather reporters: Where’s the climate coverage?
Broadcast Meteorology Conference Day 2: Heroic weatherman talks climate in a red state—and viewers thank him for it
Broadcast Meteorology Conference Wrap-up: Viewer Trust Requires Forecasting the Facts